The Roski Family Puts Eye Care Solutions in Sight

The newly named USC Roski Eye Institute advances research and treatment for visual impairments.

September 13, 2016 Lynn Lipinski

As a watercolor artist, Gayle Garner Roski ’62 depends on her eyesight to pursue her life’s passion. But when her vision began to suffer, so did her painting. She sought help from Keck Medicine of USC ophthalmologists for her cataracts.

Her successful treatment brought true color back into her work and light into her life. That’s one reason that she and her husband, real estate developer and USC Trustee Ed Roski ’62, made a landmark $25 million gift last spring to endow and name the USC Gayle and Edward Roski Eye Institute.

The Roskis’ gift will support USC’s initiatives to preserve, restore and improve the sight of patients in Southern California and worldwide.

“Gayle and Ed Roski’s gift is an incredible vote of confidence in the work we do at the USC Roski Eye Institute,” says Rohit Varma, director of the institute. “This gift will enable us to advance eye research in fields such as ocular imaging, drug delivery, dry eye, stem cell therapies and public health and policy.”

The Roskis’ roots at USC run deep. They met during her first year on campus—he was a junior and she a freshman. And as longtime benefactors, they’ve supported USC’s fine arts school, students and programs. Ten years ago, the USC Roski School of Art and Design was named in recognition of a generous gift that expanded the school’s programs in fine arts, new media and digital arts, as well as providing for a graduate student art gallery.

With their latest gift, they hope to help others suffering from vision loss or impairment, inspired in part by Gayle Roski’s own restored eyesight after her cataract procedure.

“Imagine having a yellow lens due to cataracts over your eyes all the time, and then having it removed. The improvement was amazing, and our hope is that this gift helps other people improve their vision,” Gayle Roski says.

Ed Roski is president and chairman of the board of Majestic Realty Co., and co-owner of the Los Angeles Kings and Los Angeles Lakers. Gayle Roski’s paintings have been exhibited extensively in museums and galleries from Southern California to Scotland.